Kherson airport to stay in municipal ownership after reconstruction
The Kherson airport after its reconstruction would remain in municipal ownership, as it is a sensitive facility of national defense, Governor of Kherson region Andriy Hordeyev has said.
"I would like to thank previous governor Andriy Putilov who saw a potential in this facility. Since 2014 we jointly with the Cabinet of Ministers have decided to invest in it. We passed the bill on the public fund development in parliament and lobbied for the airport's reconstruction. We could have finished it more quickly, but red tape slowed completion," he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that aprons and two taxi strips will be finished by the end of the year, and the terminal will be rebuilt.
"We have two potential investors who are competing. These are foreign investors who are ready to complete reloading, refrigerating and passenger terminals around the airfield. They would provide for logistics. They are interested in reconstructing the runway for Boeing-747 planes – to reinforce it and enlarge by 1,200 meters. My only requirement to them is the financial ability and retaining the facility in municipal ownership. We would not sell it to anyone, as it is a sensitive facility of national defense," he said.
He said that this year the airfield was actively used by Turkish Airlines.
"The loading of flights with tourists was 86% on average. Today it carried over 90,000 tourists. Even if each tourist gives UAH 500 to our economy (taxies, hotels, cafes, food), this is UAH 45 million in the internal economy of our region. We have invested far less," he said.
Hordeyev said that the region has agreements with Ukraine International Airlines (UIA).
"They received flight permits and presented a technical rider on the possibility of servicing flights. Thus, the passenger flow would expand more. UIA seeks to launch Kherson-Warsaw flights via Boryspil. This would help to reach Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv with transfers. This would fully open Boryspil and the European destinations. Now we have Kherson-Istanbul – a large transport hub where one can reach any destination with transfers," he said.